Something from nothing.

#2
Unfortunately, regardless of which side you take on the issue, you're going to run into the issue of origins, and so far none of the explanations are any good. Atheist-materialists conclude that "the universe came from nothing, except that nothing has quantum properties because that's just how it is." The more religious believe "the universe came from God, who exists because that's just how it is". Neither of which is an answer that one can draw any meaning from.
 
#3
Unfortunately, regardless of which side you take on the issue, you're going to run into the issue of origins, and so far none of the explanations are any good. Atheist-materialists conclude that "the universe came from nothing, except that nothing has quantum properties because that's just how it is." The more religious believe "the universe came from God, who exists because that's just how it is". Neither of which is an answer that one can draw any meaning from.
Well said.
 
#4
We can only intellectually think about things where there's a diachotomy . . . When it comes to the big Nothing - as in something from nothing - we simply will never be able to intellectually derive anything of any meaning at all bc I don't think the big Nothing can exactly have Something as it's opposite . . . And the longer I think about the mysteriousness of Nothing, the more I realize the mysteriousness of Something . . .

Which, I guess, is kinda my way of agreeing that any intellectual attempt to explain the situation looks infinitely silly
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#6
I know I am totally biased but it seems as if the New Atheists are getting desperate...
Lone Shaman notes the Multiverse shenanigans are part of this social engineering process as well.

There was also this Huff Po article on both the Multiverse hype and Krauss' Something-From-Nothing argument:

Pseudophysics: The New High Priesthood

Three years after Greene's unsubstantiated public appeal to accept the notion that our universe is one of many -- perhaps even infinitely many (whatever this may mean) -- universes, Max Tegmark followed suit. This year he published a book whose speculative nature takes this pseudophysics to a whole new level. In Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality, Tegmark doesn't simply suggest that there is a multiverse; he actually describes the different levels he believes the multiverse has. Thus he writes about a "level I multiverse," a "level II multiverse," a "level III multiverse," and even a "level IV multiverse." I wonder why he stops at IV. Roman numerals can go on and on, so why doesn't he have a "level MMMDCCCLXXXVII multiverse"? All of this is so arbitrary and lacking any objective information to support it -- experimental, observational, even logical. How can someone specify levels of something we can never observe? All we know is one universe -- and even if a multiverse does exist in some sense, how could anyone brazenly dare to classify something we know absolutely nothing about?
Additionally there's some stuff on the "Ex Nihilo" question:

But the most irritating book of them all, and the best example of the new pseudophysics, has nothing to do with the multiverse. It is about where our single, known universe might have come from. In his 2012 book A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing, the physicist Lawrence M. Krauss informs us that the universe came out of nothing. Sheer nothing. Nada. Zip. How does he know? Every leading theoretical physicist I have posed this question to, including the American Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg and the Dutch Nobel Laureate Gerard 't Hooft, have told me definitively that we have no idea where our universe came from: We can't tell what happened before, or even at, the Big Bang. If Krauss' screed is not pseudoscience, I don't know what is. If I am going to believe him, I could just as well subscribe to the medieval "sciences" of alchemy or astrology. Krauss gives no evidence for his carelessly cobbled-together conjecture, but he makes up for it by his aggressive tone. Studying the book carefully, I found that Krauss implies that the source of his hypothesis is a research paper by the cosmologist Alex Vilenkin. At my request, Vilenkin sent me a copy of his article, and -- not surprisingly -- I found that what he says differs markedly from Krauss' conclusion. Vilenkin's universe does not at all start from "nothingness." It begins from a bubble of a preexisting piece of a very condensed kind of spacetime called a "quantum foam."
 
#7
The idea that something can't come from nothing is based on the assumption that everything has to have a cause prior to the event. However, IIRC, Quantum Mechanics has demonstrated that particles behave randomly, can pop in and out of existence, without any underlying cause. Additionally, another way to solve this conundrum is to see everything as information. Vlatko Vedral, indeed argues that something like to universe can come from nothing if information is the underlying facet of everything
 
#9
The idea that something can't come from nothing is based on the assumption that everything has to have a cause prior to the event.
Something can't come from nothing because nothing, philosophically, is well defined. Nothing is the absence of all properties. The absence of all properties cannot ever be a ground for something. Physicists who waffle about 'nothing' invariably have 'something' in mind.

However, IIRC, Quantum Mechanics has demonstrated that particles behave randomly, can pop in and out of existence, without any underlying cause.
Something having no predictable cause is not the same thing as something coming from nothing. In the case of particles popping into spacetime there is a very rich soup of 'things' (including space, time, gravity, energy, fields, etc) that allow that particle to be, even if one specific cause cannot ever be identified.

Additionally, another way to solve this conundrum is to see everything as information. Vlatko Vedral, indeed argues that something like to universe can come from nothing if information is the underlying facet of everything
Information is 'something'. It has properties. Again, that is not the same thing as 'nothing'.
 
#10
If we decide to throw causality out the window, we just end up with another set of problems altogether. While I doubt we'll ever really figure an answer out(unless we get it in some afterlife), we certainly won't be helped by just changing the rules and deciding to just stop asking the question.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#11
If we decide to throw causality out the window, we just end up with another set of problems altogether. While I doubt we'll ever really figure an answer out(unless we get it in some afterlife), we certainly won't be helped by just changing the rules and deciding to just stop asking the question.
One of the big problems with New Atheism - a way to just give up on interesting questions for the purposes of social engineering. Though I do think books like God and the Multiverse are a bad strategy as that seems like trading one unverifiable entity for an infinity of them.
 
#13
Unfortunately, regardless of which side you take on the issue, you're going to run into the issue of origins, and so far none of the explanations are any good. Atheist-materialists conclude that "the universe came from nothing, except that nothing has quantum properties because that's just how it is." The more religious believe "the universe came from God, who exists because that's just how it is". Neither of which is an answer that one can draw any meaning from.
Those answers are both stating the same truth. That you are not getting any meaning from it is all about you and not that truth. I'm guessing "good" to you in this case means a nice tidy little physical step-by-step that the intellect can comfortably cuddle up with.
 
#14
Unless that same truth is "nobody knows what the hell started this all, and that's just how it is", I don't know what I'm supposed to be gleaning from this.

And my usage of the word "good" in that instance was more geared towards our ability to draw any conclusions from either answer. Perhaps I ought to have spelled that out.
 
#15
Well, the idea that something "began" has always seemed to me suspicious from the outset. Just our luck, eh, to come not too long after this auspicious "beginning." But imo, it is much more likely that what we call the "Big Bang," if indeed it exists at all, is just the local rise in amplitude of an eternal cycle, in many ways the cosmic scale equivalent of wake and sleep, life and death. Although I doubt that anything is carried forward from one cycle to the next. I suspect it's more like a hard reset. Things don't have to begin. The suchness of being may be timeless, causeless, and startless.
 
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#17
Well, the idea that something "began" has always seemed to me suspicious from the outset. Just our luck, eh, to come not too long after this auspicious "beginning." But imo, it is much more likely that what we call the "Big Bang," if indeed it exists at all, is just the local rise in amplitude of an eternal cycle, in many ways the cosmic scale equivalent of wake and sleep, life and death. Although I doubt that anything is carried forward from one cycle to the next. I suspect it's more like a hard reset. Things don't have to begin. The suchness of being may be timeless, causeless, and startless.
I knew that you'd have to add something like the bolded to your comment. :)
 
#19
I knew that you'd have to add something like the bolded to your comment. :)
It's just difficult to see continuity in this world, outside of far-from-equilibrium, hard won methods of obtaining it, and there only temporarily (evolution, genes, language, story, memory). All of these are fragile and prone to erosion unless constantly maintained (which again comes at cost). Other than that, the only true linear continuity seems that of entropy. It's almost as if existence is struggling to remember itself (when its default is to forget or "reset"), and so far these dubious methods are the best 'technologies' it has come up with to that end.
 
#20
One of the big problems with New Atheism - a way to just give up on interesting questions for the purposes of social engineering. Though I do think books like God and the Multiverse are a bad strategy as that seems like trading one unverifiable entity for an infinity of them.
I read an article on Strange Notions that the New Athiests are much less athiests and much more anti-theists. Krauss seems to state that clearly when he claims that he would rather live in a universe without God. Why should it matter!?
 
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